Category: ww1 history

Jul 20 1918 “Group of officers of the 39…

Jul 20 1918 “Group of officers of the 39th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps, including the Commanding Officer (seated, third from the left). Rombly” https://t.co/Z20D1WXfwQ https://t.co/LPEaM7s2cl http://twitter.com/ThisDayInWWI/status/1020071511162466304

Photo taken Jul 20 1918 “Capture of Mete…

Photo taken Jul 20 1918 “Capture of Meteren by the 9th Division, 19th July 1918. Soldier of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers in a captured German machine gun emplacement” https://t.co/aVLWWAJwQt https://t.co/GWN0xZHkMq http://twitter.com/ThisDayInWWI/status/1020071240189394944

NZ Observer Jul 20 1918 British officer shocke…

NZ Observer Jul 20 1918
British officer shocked when he is saluted by a “colonial”
https://t.co/xt7XZzNVnV https://t.co/MttSmGFd7r http://twitter.com/ThisDayInWWI/status/1020069807813640192

NZ Thames Star Jul 20 1918 ALL FOR THIS! Terri…

NZ Thames Star Jul 20 1918
ALL FOR THIS!
Terrible Heavy Casualties, No Gains
https://t.co/jtkhWtUj4K https://t.co/7jzlgp2EKm http://twitter.com/ThisDayInWWI/status/1020068934731513857

Jul 20 1918 Imperial German Navy Type UB III s…

Jul 20 1918 Imperial German Navy Type UB III sub SM UB-124 depth charged and damaged in the Atlantic off the coast of Ireland. She was consequently scuttled with the loss of 2 of her crew. She had 1 kill, United Kingdom troopship Justicia https://t.co/BLqAdLM0js https://t.co/mTLcHulmfu http://twitter.com/ThisDayInWWI/status/1020067749337358336

Jul 19 1918 British troopship Justicia damaged…

Jul 19 1918 British troopship Justicia damaged in the Atlantic Ocean off Malin Head, County Donegal by SM UB-64 She was taken in tow but was torpedoed and sunk next day (55°38′N 7°39′W) by SM UB-124 with the loss of 10 of her crew https://t.co/BLqAdLM0js https://t.co/LtEsIcKSJO http://twitter.com/ThisDayInWWI/status/1020065540725923840

Americans Suffer only Major Warship Loss of th…

The San Diego.

July 19 1918, Fire Island–After U-151′s stunning successes off New Jersey, the Germans continued their U-boat campaign off the Eastern Seaboard with the few U-boats they had with sufficient range.  In July, the U-156 laid a series of mines off of the southern coast of Long Island.  On July 19, the cruiser San Diego was about 9 miles south of Fire Island, en route to escort a convoy bound for Europe from New York.  She was of little military use in the convoy, as she had no real anti-submarine capabilities and would be outmatched against any modern German surface ships.  At 11:10 AM, there was an explosion on the port side, below the waterline.  She quickly took on a list and sank in twenty-eight minutes.  Six men were killed in the sinking; the remainder of the 1250-man crew were quickly rescued.

A local naval air reserve unit, comprised mainly of Yale students, was alerted to the possible presence of a German submarine, and attempted to find the culprit from the air.  They thought they found a submarine lurking on the seabed, and dropped some bombs. It turned out to be the wreck of the San Diego; thankfully they did not hit any of the survivors.  

The captain of the San Diego held that the ship had been torpedoed, and more outlandish theories involved German sabotage, but the most likely culprit has always been a mine from U-156.  The Navy has been conducting another investigation of the wreck that they had hoped to complete in time for the 100th anniversary to finally pinpoint the cause.  The wreck has been a popular one for divers due to its close proximity to New York.  However, as the ship capsized while sinking, it is upside down on the sea floor, making it very dangerous to explore inside; more divers have been killed while exploring the wreck than were lost in the sinking itself.

Two days later, U-156, by then off the coast of Massachusetts, would shell the town of Orleans on Cape Cod.  The attack would cause no damage (the shells falling harmlessly in a marsh and on the beach), but it would mark the only time the continental US was attacked during World War I.

Earlier Today: British Launch Carrier Attack on Zeppelin Base

Sources include: Robert K. Massie, Castles of Steel; The New York Times (includes image credit).

The skeleton of a German airship in the wake o…

The skeleton of a German airship in the wake of the Tondern raid, July 19 1918.

The British battlecruiser HMS Furious, equippe…

The British battlecruiser HMS Furious, equipped with a flight deck to serve as the first aircraft carrier that airplanes could land on.

RAF mechanics of the 149th Night Bombing Squad…

RAF mechanics of the 149th Night Bombing Squadron ready detonators on bombs before a raid.